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>> and chuck hagel and john brenan, the men in the u.s. president wants to run the military and the cia. this is al jazeera, live from our headquarters in doha. and china decides to reform its controversial labor camps. we speak to one man who had a very lucky escape. exclusive pictures from northern me and mark, wher -- northern myanmar. and nasa has found 461 new plants that could support life
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as we know it. u.s. president barack obama has made controversial choices for two of the top jobs in his government. is nominated chuck hagel for defense secretary and john brenan as dia director. both of them must now be approved by the u.s. senate. now this report. >> with his second term soon to begin, president obama is putting the finishing touches to his national security team. introducing the men that he wants to lead the pentagon and the cia. >> these two leaders have dedicated their lives to protect our country. i urge the senate to confirm them as soon as possible. >> both nominees face difficult questions before they are confirmed in the u.s. senate. table seems perfect for the pentagon. a decorated combat veteran in vietnam and a former republican senator from nebraska. some conservatives say that he
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is not strong enough supporter of israel, even though he voted many times to send billions of dollars in u.s. financial aid. >> i will do my best for our country and those i represent at the pentagon, and for all our citizens. a john brenan is a long time administration officials spent 25 years in the cia. >> if confirmed as director, i will make it my mission to ensure that the cia has the tools its needs to keep our nation safe and that its work always reflects the liberties, the freedoms, and the values we hold so dear. >> no brennan. >> but he's controversial. he's been the public face of the administration's defense of the legality of drone strikes, something the president acknowledged. >> he understands we are a nation of laws. in moments of debate and decision, he asked the tough
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questions and insists on high and rigorous standards. >> four years ago, john brenan had to pull his name from consideration to be cia director because liberals did not think that he had done enough to dissociate himself from the bush administration interrogation policies. now his nomination and that of chuck hagel are going to raise new questions about the direction in which president obama wants to take the nation on national security. >> chuck hagel spent much of the last 24 hours defending himself against allegations that he is anti-israel, but there's a lot of opposition. there's a web site that says it has all the reasons why he's not fit for the job. he is also seen as anti-is really after making this comment at an interview seven years ago. he said "and the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people. i don't want to go over the
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dumping as they have done. i support israel. but my allegiance is not true president or party or to israel." the u.s. considers hamas a terrorist organization and will not engage directly with the group, although chuck hagel supports talks. our guest has joined us now. he's calling for more pragmatic approach in dealing with hamas. >> i think you have to put this into the context of the upcoming elections in israel. anything that looks like a stressed to israel, or makes israel look like the victim
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peltz benjamin netanyahu. it is not just a coincidence that the people who reject chuck hagel are the same people who support benjamin netanyahu appeared they have not learned a lesson from the presidential election where they supported mitt romney and they ended up losing. it is not just opposing or not opposing a candidate. >> how is chuck hagel's nomination being played out in israel in light of the upcoming elections two weeks away? >> it adds another and dimension mo benjamin netanyahu's clai that israel is isolated not because of its policy but because of anti-semitism, groups trying to delegitimize israel and that means we need a strong leader, one that can give a good
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fight to those anti-semites surrounding us. so it really it helps benton .-- really helps netanyahu and the americans don't understand what israel is facing right now. >> let's go back to the criticism for second. what exactly are the criticisms against chuck hagel by some of the pro-is really groups that concern israel and that might not make him qualified, as they say, to be the u.s. defense secretary? >> the claim is if you don't fully support israel, you are anti-is really. so it's not just criticizing
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israel. has to be much more to the right than people who are running for the elections like -- liek tzip livni. for obama during the campaign, he said being pro-is really does not mean joining a certain group. but for those people, it is an oxymoron, not being fully supportive of the current government. since you propose interesting quotes from chuck hagel, it seems he can point out some differences between american interests and israeli interests. the other thing is you have taken to account that this
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jewish community is put in a difficult position of dual loyalty. once this is on the table, the argument that chuck hagel brings company is an american patriot and the americans have a very clear opinion on the peace process -- >> let me jump in for a second, because we are running out of time. i want to address the issue of iran. that's one of the cricriticisms against chuck hagel because he said in the past that direct negotiations would be the best way to resolve the issues with a nuclear iran . benjamin netanyahu said last year he was willing to attack -- to attack iran without the support of the u.s. " there's a huge camp in israel
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who believe the military option is not the the best one and we should stick with the united states. the opportunity to experience more negotiations, that is. chuck hagel could find himself in a very good place in the knesset and even in the israeli cabinet. >> thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> the number of people out of work in the member countries of the euro zone hit a record high in november according to figures released under an hour ago. nearly 12% of 330 million people in 17 countries were unemployed. that means 19 million people are jobless. 2 million people at the same tired year ago. the european economy has been struggling with huge debts in the aftermath of the global banking crisis.
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rebels in northern myanmar say the army is continuing its air and ground assault against them. we have obtained these pictures of the fighting. the military reportedly attacked hilltop positions belonging to the independence army on monday. the only ethnic minority group that has not reached a truce with the government. the chinese government is reportedly looking to stop using controversial labor camps that critics say violate fundamental rights. the system has been used for years to silence political opponents. it allows chinese authorities to keep citizens locked up for years without charge or trial. now this report. >> with word of what could be a momentous decision, this man, supported by his wife, slipped away from authorities to speak to al jazeera. as a judge, ruled against interests of local officials. been punished him by taking
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away his position and ordered him to spend a year in a labor camp without a trial. the stress brought on a stroke, leaving the crippled to this day. >> they should abolish the labor camp system. china already has a legal system with proper procedures. labor camps are too random. a party leader can just pick up the phone and someone will be in jail. >> these pictures provided by rights groups offer a rare glimpse into the so-called reeducation labor camps. government admits in as more than 300 of them. in 2008, a house 160,000. there used at times to detain petty criminals but have also been reserved for political opponents. those who come out of such places report that torture is common. over the years, our crews have visited what are known as black jails and other detention and facilities. while unconstitutional, it is sanctioned by the communist party.
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[person screaming] that make ounow changed with incoming leaders. one of the first visits after his appointment was a sight honoring a former reformist leader. he himself had been sentenced to a labor camp for time. the government will not say whether they will be closed. in hong kong, lawyers fear the government will not go far enough. >> there's a lot to do for the new leadership. there must be an independent legal system. without it, human rights cannot be guaranteed and it will only lead to more mass protests. >> this person also hopes chinese leaders are genuine about reforms. he wants to help insure the laws of the country are respected by citizens and the authorities meant to serve them. >> still ahead, battling
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bushfires pin australia. more than 100 homes destroyed with warnings of more to come. and taking on one of the last remaining challenges in a venture. that's coming up.
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it 9:00 p.m. eastern and 6:00 pacific. the top stories.
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u.s. president barack obama has nominated former soldier and republican senator chuck hagel for defense secretary. he has chosen john brenan to head the cia. both are considered controversial choices. rebels in northern myanmar say the military is continuing its air and ground assault against them. the armed forces on monday reported a attacked hilltop positions belonging to the caller independents army. firefighters are on standby across the australian state of new south wales. temperatures are soaring and that there are fears of wildfires. fires have already been burning in tasmania four days. the new year is almost a week- old. there have already been three drawn attacks in pakistan. the latest has killed at least seven people in the north. last year there were 122 strikes. while the u.s. says it is targeting people who threaten its security. last wednesday, killed this man,
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a tribal leader affiliated with the afghan taliban. drones have always been deeply unpopular with pakistanis because of civilian deaths because. now general stanley mcchrystal, in charge of forces in afghanistan, cautions about their overuse. but president obama has just named john brenan as the one he wants to run the cia and he has been one of the strongest advocates of drawn attacks as obama's counterterrorism chief. now more from the pakistani capital islamabad. >> the pakistani establishment have said the drone strikes are counterproductive because there is collateral damage. that collateral damage has now been established by the bureau of investigative journalism and the stanford report. so there is considerable criticism about the legality of those strikes. john brenan had already said
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there was no collateral damage in the drone strikes, something that is documented. the pakistanis are warning that it will jeopardize their own counterinsurgency strategies in the tribal areas. peace talks to stop the fighting in the central african republic have been delayed until the end of the week. meanwhile, thousands of people have fled the capital because they are afraid the talks will fail. andrew simmons has this report. >> motorcade for a president under threat. he return from talks with his counterpart as rebels and mediators are headed to gabon. they left behind a country teetering on the brink of more chaos. in the capital, a heavily fortified military presence. south african street patrols are part of the newly deployed 400 strong force.
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and in a country where well over half the population lives below the poverty line, where for some, selling wood is a means of survival to somehow get by. this man tells me he is worried because work is not normal any more. he says he is frightened of the rebels. and other believes the rebels have to be stopped. >> we don't want the rebels. we have always wanted peace. with the rebels , the rebelseat. -- with the rebels, we cannot eat. >> this man's palm oil company was taken by rebels on the weekend. one central african and chinese fled across the border to the democratic republic of congo.
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pascale has already lost $2 million in profits because of the crisis. >> my hope is a lot of people in this country understand the rebellion is not the solution. every rebellion just brings destruction. >> the mood of this city switches from fear and desperation. but these deals have come and gone. the last one marked by this round about. reconciliation is a word with a pipe dream. everyone here is where both sides are preparing for war while at the same time trying to talk peace. andrew simmons, al jazeera, from the central african republic's.
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>> firefighters are battling more than 100 bushfires across southeastern australia. the extremely high temperatures and strong wind providing the perfect conditions for fires started by lightning, cigarettes, and in some cases suspected arson. now this report from sydney from andrew thompson. >> the fire authorities called conditions catastrophic and that's an official term they used to describe a combination of heat, wind, and dry vegetation, likely to produce devastating wildfires. temperatures rose above 40 degrees celsius, more than 100 degrees fahrenheit, in new south wales. the wind increasing the flames spreading from one area to another. >> we are being confronted with a situation where three areas blame to be -- believed to be catastrophic in terms of our conditions with 90% of new south wales deemed to be severe. >> more than 140 separate
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wildfires at one stage across the state of new south wales alone. despite the best efforts of firefighters and water bombing helicopters, 40 of those went out of control. and wildfires across the neighboring state of victoria. people were forced to leave their homes as claims neared. on friday and over the weekend, wildfires in the island state of tasmania destroyed dozens of homes and had people running into the sea to escape the flames. four years ago, more than 170 people died across the southern state of victoria on one black saturday. inquiries of those fires look into why those who died did. the recommendations have been passed this time around. in sydney, the heat causes problems. zoo animals given blocks of ice. swimming pools are popular in
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the suburbs and for some office workers in the center of the city. whether the forecast on wednesday will bring relief to sydney, it will not put out the fires in the rural areas. it is expected the flames will go on for details. new south wales as never faced conditions more likely to produce wildfires, but nor have the people who live here ever been as prepared as they are now for them. the hope is that proves enough. andrew thomas, al jazeera. >> church leaders in venezuela are mourning the country's stability is at risk because of the president's absence. hugo chavez has been in cuba since early december for cancer treatment. church leaders support the opposition view that the presidential inauguration must take place on january 10 or the constitution will be violated. >> it is clear in the text of the constitution that on the 10th of january, the term of the current president expires and a
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new one begins, for which hugo chavez was reelected. the october elections last year would've been pointless if a new government term was not voted on. the goal of this conference is not to intervene publicly in the interpretation of the constitution, but in this case the common welfare of the country and the defense of ethics is at risk. to manipulate the constitution to reach a political objective is morally unacceptable. >> it's been a for your weeks since the president was last seen in venezuela. his presence can still be felt on the streets of the capital caracas. >> for these people, street art is a way to get a political message out. that's why these days they want this to be present on everyone's mind. this person support the socialist revolution and says the ailing president has become a spiritual leader for them. >> we 1 to transmit a message of
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hope and tranquillity for the future, show how hugo chavez will transcend the current times and how the revolution will not stop, even if something were to happen to him. >> the young group are part of a communication liberation army in the city and their works, still cooconsidered illegal by some, enjoys the support of the government. in the last 14 years since hugo chavez came to power and the country became more polarized, political art has exploded all round the city. paintings like this one that symbolize the revolution can be found everywhere. but artists like this one say they have another objective. he sees his art as a way of transforming caracas and calls his art form of intervention. he feels he must keep his identity a secret because he
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does not enjoy the same freedom as those that have the government's support. >> in the last year, the politicians are using art as a tool for propaganda. this type of art is a way of expressing myself openly, for me. >> that's the one thing in common that these urban artists have. the walls of caracas are their canvas. >> people have a problem with street art because they believe it's illegal, but it's not illegal to show that bra on a building? street art goes against the rules of capitalism. >> that idea is deeply entrenched in hugo chavez's revolution, and now they hoped that -- hope that their art will
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help their leader return. >> and anti-whaling group in australia has launched a campaign. operationsun o zero-tolerance, aimed mainly at japanese whaling vessels. it says that the program is just a front to kill large mammals for meat. a veteran explore is about to take on a challenge. he and his team are attempting the coldest journey. now this report. >> it is a light-hearted start to a serious expedition. six men including the veteran explorer have left south africa for antarctica. a six-month journey across the south pole in winter for the first time. that means average temperatures of 60 degrees to 70 degrees
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below zero and possibly colder. the lowest temperature ever recorded on earth was here, - 89.2 degrees celsius. fuel usually freezes at these temperatures, so there's little chance of rescue of something goes wrong. >> we are on our own for eight months. then you are in a situation where you could die. that's why we have take a whole year of supplies. >> two men will go ahead of the party with containers carrying equipment, including radar to detect crevices in the ice and snow. one of the greatest challenges will be seen in almost 24 our darkness, a talent that has inspired them to send aid to a charity seeing is believing. >> we hope to raise money for the charity and we hope to see what is in the darkness. >> the team is due to leave on
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march 21, towards the geographic south pole. a journey of 2000 23 kilometers, likely to take 84 days. from a year there will travel 1,600 kilometers more, taking 61 days, before finally reaching base camp around the 21st of september. it's been 100 years since the last attempt to cross the winter in antarctica. even
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Al Jazeera World News
LINKTV January 8, 2013 5:30am-6:00am PST

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